Time for a Poll

How can this place be improved?

Moderator: TMAX

What is the future shape of the forum?

Poll ended at Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:00 pm

Stays the same, no change
3
75%
Stays the same, but add a live chat system back
1
25%
Stay the same, but branch out, with social network connection and integration
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 4

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stuartcnz
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Time for a Poll

Postby stuartcnz » Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:00 pm

Running a dynamic website (as opposed to a static one), such as a forum, requires constant updates and security reviews.
Some time next year, as part of site maintenance, I intend on converting access, to https, which means more security, for things like passwords and such like.
At that time it is likely that this will be the last site that I maintain, which runs on PHP, therefore it will also be sitting on a server by itself. I have the option of shifting it to a different server available to me, which doesn't have a monthly fee, though may be a little less available than the current one, or I could keep it where it is, and increase the scope of what it does, as I will not have to take into consideration, the other sites that currently reside on the server.
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Re: Time for a Poll

Postby ol trunt » Sun Oct 04, 2015 3:34 pm

Stuart, I don't know enough to vote. I really enjoy this site but I do see that it has slowed down somewhat from when I joined. I especially like the world wide cosmopolitan approach but have no idea how to encourage others (save those interested in house trucks and house buses) to be more active.

Just last night for example, I was talking with a dinner guest about the site and showed him your 2013? photo tour of the US. He was most impressed with your photography as am I. Maybe we all need to be reminded to say to our friends "look what I saw on Nomadicista the other day, Isn't that cool?" I think that we also need to be reminded that even our smallest contributions and comments are important to other site members--it's a big old world out there and there is a lot of interesting stuff going on that we can be a part of through a site like this.

Ask us each to share what we most appreciate about this site. Hopefully that will guide you to what you feel you should do.

As far as understanding the HTTP stuff, I don't--but that doesn't make the site any the less important to me.

I look forward to visiting this site nearly every day and I would like to see it prosper in the future. If you can think of any way a non computer guy can help, please let me know. Jack

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Re: Time for a Poll

Postby somewhereinusa » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:05 am

Stuart,

I, like Jack, don't know enough about it to vote. The live chat thing always seemed like a good idea, but I never participated. It seems like I always forgot when the actual time rolled around. I think the time zone thing was usually the problem, just the wrong time of day.
branch out, with social network connection and integration
Not sure what this means.

I also look at the site every day and look forward to the postings by people I feel I know, but have never met. I think the people here are more of the true craftsmen type who aren't afraid to think outside the box and will tackle anything. I would love to see the site grow, but wouldn't want it to turn into a "should I buy this bus" or "I bought a bus, what should I do" forum. There are enough of those already.

Dick

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Re: Time for a Poll

Postby Stealth Camper » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:24 am

I guess I need more information, too, about what that means. I know that I love coming to see what is going on and occasionally blather on about something or other. We have lost a lot of visible participants, which is a shame. I show people this place repeatedly, but don't know if they visit or not. I am guessing most don't, since I never see them here. Seems kind of odd that there is not more direct interest, especially with the proliferation of "Tiny Houses" television shows sprouting up all over the place...

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Re: Time for a Poll

Postby stuartcnz » Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:30 pm

I will try to clarify, speak up if I still don't do so in a manner which gets the idea across successfully.

Online communities have evolved a lot overs the years. In the early 2000's, I was an avid user of Yahoo groups, but they have their downs sides, when it comes to usability. This was largely remedied with the introduction of forums, built on this forums', and similar software. As a result, people including myself, stopped participating in Yahoo groups.

Sharkey started this forum, and I was totally engrossed in it. The format works for me, and the subject niche sits with who I am. I like this format, and will keep it going, irrespective. However, large portions of the online community have shifted to newer forms of online community, namely social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and a bunch of others. They are by their nature, somewhat incompatible with this forum format.

Other forums based on the exact same software as this are busier than this forum, and many of our members participate in those other forums. There are differences in how those other forums are run, which directly leads to why the are more active than this one is. Rather than stating why that is, I would comment on why this one isn't. From the start, Sharkey kept the membership list trimmed down to genuine members only, hence the small membership number here, as opposed to other forums. This was largely done, to protect members from email harvesting, for spamming. I have maintained that philosophy, since taking over the responsibility of maintaining the forum, though have had to make access harder than when Sharkey ran it, due to a combination of technical know how, or lack there of, that Sharkey has, and lack of time to keep up that level of maintenance. The result is two fold; the most immediate being that it is a low traffic forum, with the result being that the forum has maintained a very high quality of content, and the resulting spam to members, as a result of belonging here, is likely to be negligible, to non existent.

So, to an explanation of the of the poll questions.

1: Nothing changes; I will keep on doing software upgrades, and as mentioned will be adding an https connection, likely next year (this is how you connect to your bank, and do online shopping. it gives a layer of protection over straight http connections and is how websites in general are going.

the result for people using the site will not change from what it is now.

2: Adding chat to the forum, or making it function as it did, when we had chat before. Just another way of participating in the forums. We lost this ability during one of the software upgrades. I've yet to find a way of re-integrating it back into the forum; particularly in a way, that I can reliably maintain. So would have to keep on working on that, but will do if that is what members want.

3: Integrating the forum with social media; means finding a way of bringing the community we have here, into inclusion with the social media that members are starting to branch out into now. trying to bridge the gap, that became insurmountable between Yahoo groups and this type of forum, before we become a ghost town altogether. As such it would be in the form of a branding exercise as much as anything. Let me try to explain.

Forums such as this are their own walled garden. What you post here, doesn't automatically appear on Facebook, Twitter etc. And if you do not belong to Facebook, Twitter, etc. as I don't; the content posted there is essentially closed to you.

There are a couple of federated social media systems that can allow you two share between the closed wall social media systems such as Facebook, Twitter, etc, and at the same time also share the same content that people post to them, back to the federated systems. What this means in practice, is that someone is a member of Facebook. They can also be a member of one of these federated systems. By connecting the two, they can make a post on the federated system, and there post will show up on both the federated system and Facebook.
When this happens, people on Facebook get to see and respond to the post, and people who are not on Facebook, can also participate with them.
So why not just join Facebook, Twitter etc, as so many other people have? The problem with that, is that like Yahoo, they are proprietary closed wall systems, which have full control of your material, which they can do pretty much what they like with, including close down access, or changing the format, so that it is difficult to use in an easy manner. And what annoys me more than just about anything else, bombard you with advertising, whilst also gathering data on you, for further advertising purposes.

The federated social media system that I would consider incorporating is likely to be Friendica http://friendica.com/ There are any number of nodes you can join now. In fact I have just joined via friendica.eu, which is based in France. So in theory it doesn't matter whether or not I add the option or not. If I did, I would install an instance within the nomadicista.org framework, such as friendica.nomadicista.org, where the membership would be based in the same server as the forum, and import my profile over to here.

So any way, the poll is mostly just a way to try and stimulate some discussion about where to from here.

Jack,
in response to you noticing the forum slowing down since you joined. I don't believe that is the case. Rather what happened is that the forum picked up pace, considerably when you joined. That happened because you joined and started posting about your fantastic bus build. Then slowed down at the end of it.

If you were to look back throughout the history of this forum, which now goes back eleven years, you will see a pattern that the forum was always been pretty slow, except for when a new member with some new project or other, would stir things up for the duration of that project, then things would die down until someone else, or an existing member came along with a new project. The exception to that is when Rudy joined. Things became busy then, but it also resulted in the near complete loss of this forum.

And that is why the archive within this forum, contains such high quality content, which I intend that interested people can access for both entertainment, and more importantly educational uses, going into the future.
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Re: Time for a Poll

Postby Stealth Camper » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:24 am

Thanks for the insight!! I really like this forum as it is - chat would be nice, but I so seldom get a chance to participate, it really doesn't impact me one way or the other right now. Another topic seems to be covering a new chat for here as we speak... Not really against new/improved/etc, but don't think Facebook is improvement.

As for social media -- I really hate the stuff. I keep a Facebook account in an alternate universe mostly to maintain contact with kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. I have looked at Dennis' site too for his tiny house build pics. I also resent the collection of all that information you mention by those other guys....

Bottom line - I guess I vote 1 and possibly 2....

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Re: Time for a Poll

Postby ol trunt » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:52 pm

Stuart, if we go with option 3 do our postings automatically go to facebook or the like or do we have to somehow cause that to happen? Can we individually opt out of sharing on facebook and the like? Which option is most user friendly in your life? Jack

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Re: Time for a Poll

Postby stuartcnz » Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:10 pm

Jack, that's a somewhat difficult question to answer in one go, BUT, the simple answer is no matter what changes I make, the default will never automatically post anything from here onto Facebook.

In fact any member that wanted to cross post would have to go through a bit of a set up process themselves, and I am still not sure that that kind of cross post would end up on the forum as such.

How I would envision it happening (and any member can do this now, without me doing anything, just using different providers than one I could set up), is that you would set up a Friendica account. You would then link the Friendica account to Facebook, twitter, your blog, or anywhere else you wanted to post. Then instead of logging in to any of those other mediums, you would simply post through your Friendica account, and that would syndicate your post to all those other places.

In all honesty, I doubt that I would use such a set up myself, except as a way to encourage those who think that sharing their stuff on Facebook is open to all, to perhaps changing their posting habits, to a manner that actually can share to all. Even those of us who don't have Facebook accounts.
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Re: Time for a Poll

Postby stuartcnz » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:25 pm

So, the results are in. With a massive turn out of four votes, including my own, the result is overwhelmingly to stay as we are; with a slight nod to adding back chat.

So this is how I see it playing out. No change will be visible in the immediate future.

If you want chat sooner, I suggest you install retroshare: both Somewhere and I have managed to get it working, so it is a workable solution at the moment.

In the meantime, I have started learning to code in Python, after finally finding a course that seems to work for my learning style. In time, once I become competent enough with it. I will start converting my PHP based sites to Python based ones (this will include full rebuilds, so they will probably be quite different than now), they will most likely become somewhat interactive, and I think more useful. At the end of that process, I will most likely convert this forum to running on Python, instead of the current PHPBB3 installation. I have found what appears to be satisfactory software for running it on.

The end result (could be quite a long time from now) will look a little different from now, but not massively so, just decoration wise; the workings of it should be no different for members than it is now. And chat will be added back at that time.
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Re: Time for a Poll

Postby ol trunt » Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:17 pm

Thanks for all your work! Jack

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Re: Time for a Poll

Postby Stealth Camper » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:12 am

We seem to be a small but extremely interested (and interesting) group here.... Thanks a lot for your work and continuing effort!!


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